The USS Quad Damage

This is my house

As it turns out, it's everyone's house.

You can't expect to kiss a baby and not have your personal life examined

There’s an inherent asymmetry with the characters on television, radio, and even blogs and the internet, whether the characters are made up like on TV shows, or real like on news or comedy programs. As human beings, while we do have the ability to disconnect fact from fiction, we do not have the ability to treat these characters as strangers. While we are not communicating with them, they are communicating with us. They form a part of our lives, and we learn to understand them, their needs, their likes and dislikes. They might even share a portion of our brain that we keep for other acquaintances, friends, and loved ones.

Unfortunately, they don’t know us, and don’t hold us in the same regard as we hold them. While to us, they are real people we know things about, to them we are a crowd, their fans, randoms. This might go some way to explain tabloids — to ordinary people this gossip is about people they know, like friends or co-workers, they want to take an active part in their lives. To the “stars”, however, this is an invasion of their privacy, strangers poking their nose where it doesn’t belong.

Politicians are in a similar, but different situation. For a politician, arguably their life, while in the public domain, is private in the sense that they are simply public figures in prominent positions, like CEOs, but even there an asymmetry exists. You can’t expect to kiss a baby and not have your personal life examined. This is akin to saying “judge me not by my skills, but by my personality, except my life is still private and away from your prying eyes”. This is similarly true of CEOs or other significant figures — Their worth is their clout and reputation. People have a right to know how they handle certain difficult situations.

This is why people get so pissed off when an actor blows them off — because they’re just ordinary people with an asymmetric relationship. It assumes the worst to believe that people who know you, and who you do not know, are somehow less deserving of your respect or time. You really need to take the good with the bad. This is why people care so much about how attractive or unattractive Megan Fox is with or without make-up, and how she may or may not have had some sort of surgery. This all goes into us opining on the person, and forming a complete picture of them in our heads.

The asymmetry is a burden which must be accepted on both sides of that coin, and there needs to be an understanding that the losers in this exchange aren’t the ones who get hounded for photographs and have their personal lives exposed, it’s everyone else who is holding someone dear to them who really doesn’t care...